How to Remove an AC Fan Motor From a Squirrel Cage
If you have a squirrel cage with a faulty blower motor, you’ll need to replace it. If you’re not sure how to do that, read on for some simple steps to get the motor out and clean it. First, remove the mounting bracket that holds the control board in place. Pull the bracket away from the motor. Carefully separate all wiring and ducts and inspect the fan fins and motor for any damage.
Replace a squirrel cage blower motor
The HVAC squirrel cage blower motor is one of the most common types of home air conditioning systems. The clever design and energy efficiency of this unit have made it one of the most popular HVAC systems on the market. However, sometimes it breaks down and you need to replace the motor. To replace this component, follow the instructions below:
Unplug the electrical components and turn off the power before attempting to replace this part. Next, remove the blower motor assembly by removing the nuts and screws from the center board. The blower motor assembly is a series of wires. It is important to carefully remove the motor from the cage while it is still upside down. Next, unscrew the wires connecting the motor to the housing. Once all wires have been disconnected, replace the motor with the new one.
The replacement process is easy. You should turn off the power before attempting to replace the motor. Remove the access panels and locate the blower motor. Depending on the model of your HVAC system, the motor is either separate or integrated into the blower assembly. If it is a single unit, the motor may be bolted onto the end of the blower assembly. In any case, you must remove the metal frame rails before attempting to replace the motor.
Gain access to a squirrel cage blower
To gain access to a squirrel cage blower motor, remove the front panel of the air handler and the fan itself. Once this is done, use a nut-driver to unscrew the screws and center board nuts holding the blower motor assembly. Carefully remove the motor assembly. The blower motor is connected to a series of wires, and should be flipped upside down to remove it.
Ensure that the motor is powered off before attempting any work. If the motor has a control board, it will be attached to the squirrel cage with a mounting bracket. Once the screws are removed, the bracket should come off as well. Be careful not to dismantle any wires as you remove the cage. Regardless of which wiring connectors are in place, make sure to mark the wires so you can remove them as easily as possible.
Once you have the motor removed, check for loose or worn bearings. Worn bearings can cause the blower to stop working properly. If you find a warn-out bearing, you may need to replace the entire motor assembly. Alternatively, you can reinstall the blower unit if the squirrel cage fan has a loose bearing. Once you’ve removed the bearings, clean and lubricate it again. If the problem persists, replace the fan assembly.
Clean a squirrel cage blower
To clean a squirrel cage blower motor, remove the front panel from the fan. It will be a bit more difficult to clean this type of fan because dirt tends to get stuck inside it. Remove the motor housing from the cage and take apart the fan to clean the blower wheel. If necessary, you can use a paintbrush to clean the fan’s parts. If it is particularly dirty, you can use a piece of 2×4 wood to bump the motor shaft out of the blower wheel.
Next, disassemble the squirrel cage blower fan. The motor may be clogged with dirt, making it wobble. Dirty fan blades can damage the blower motor, bearing, or direct drive unit. By cleaning the fan, you can increase air flow, save energy, and cut down on utility bills. After cleaning the fan, lubricate it, and reinstall it. If you notice any signs of wear or damage, the fan assembly may need replacement.
Once you’ve cleaned the squirrel cage blower motor, check its efficiency. Dirty blades won’t grab air, which means the fan won’t blow as much air as it needs to. Dirty blades can cause the fan to run longer than necessary and may lead to increased energy costs. To reduce utility costs, clean the cage blower motor once or twice a year. When you clean it, make sure to remove the blades.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.